27 April, 2010

Pure organic Wheat!

I’m from Kansas and lived there for 23 years. Kansas -you know land of the WuShock http://www.wichita.edu/thisis/aboutus/about_wushock.asp and farm land central, but I don’t really think I have ever really SEEN wheat. Sure I saw it growing in the fields, but then a big tractor would do its thing and I would not see it again until I bought some bread or flour.

To those of you city folk or those like me who weren’t alive when my grandmother was a child here’s what real wheat looks like freshly cut from the field –pure organic wheat.

The process to get the wheat kernel from the stalk requires some effort. Here’s a look “behind the scenes”. The guy turns the crank to get the fan going while his wife and daughter hold up a flat basket filled with the top of the stalk. Once the fan starts going it blows the lighter stalk over the top of the gently tilted basket, while the heaver wheat kernel falls to the ground below. It’s a dirty time consuming process but satisfying once they have ground that wheat into flour and then turned that flour into their delicious flat bread called roti.

The children’s Peace Home doesn’t grow their own wheat; instead they buy it in huge white bags which then has to be picked through to remove any little stones or wheat casing. It’s a family affair with many of the kids helping with no age or gender specification. I guess “if you wanna eat, you must clean the wheat”.
First Chandra (my new idol) sifts through it with a flat basket. She flips it gently with her wrists and most of the casing flies over the top and the hard kernel stays in the lower half of the basket. I tried this technique when we were sorting coriander which grown fresh on the property and failed miserably. One of the girls promptly took the basket from me after I flipped it a little too hard and the small seeds flew over the top along with the stuff to be disgarded. It is obviously a skill that takes a lot of practice to master and I don’t think I’ll get the chance because they don’t have the time or patience to deal with my steep learning curve…
The kids spread out the wheat which Chandra has taken the first go at and they remove any thing which is not edible. I guess since this final process was easiest enough for anyone with appending thumbs, I was allowed to help.

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